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Series Three; Colonial Fiction, 1650-1914

Part 2: General Works and Fiction from India from the British Library

This Part seeks to add breadth and depth the material offered in Part 1. It adds a further 51 works of fiction and 14 non-fictional works describing life in India.

Particular attention has been paid to women writers and this part will be a major source for all those studying women's writing in relation to India. Sample items include:

  • Helenus Scott's The adventures of a rupee (1782) and Mary Pilkington's Asiatic princess (1800);
  • A further three works by Mary Martha Butt (afterwards Sherwood) including The Lady and her Ayah (1816);
  • Emma Roberts' Scenes and characteristics of Hindoostan, with sketches of Anglo-Indian society (1835);
  • Florence Marryat's "Gup" (1868) and Veronique (1869);
  • Seven further volumes by Katherine Helen Maud Diver including the Captain Desmond, VC trilogy (1907-1916) and Lilamani (1911);
  • Ten volumes by Alice Perrin, ranging from The Waters of Destruction (1905) to The Anglo-Indians (1912);
  • Five further works by Bithia Croker, including The Old Cantonment (1905) and Beyond the Pale (1920).

Indian imprints and authors include Amir Dihlavi Khusrau's The tale of the Four Durwesh (1813), Lal Behari Day's Govinda Samonta, or the History of a Bengal Rayat (1874), Chantu Menou's Induleka (1890), Rentala Venkata Subba Rau's Kamala's letters to her husband (1902), S B Vandyopadhyaya's Indian detective stories (1911), and M H Sanke's Joseph Sastry; or, Hari Haran, a novel (1914).

Other noted works of fiction are The Nabob (1773), G O Trevelyan's The Competition Wallah (1864), and Boxwallah's An Eastern Backwater (1916).

A wide range of issues are dealt with in the novels and all ranges of society are explored. There are rural rayats (peasants) in the writings of Lal Behari Day, the life of an Indian babu (clerk) in Anstey's A Bayard from Bengal (1902), young British officers arriving in India in Mary Martha Butt's The History of George Desmond (1821), and an account of the seduction of a married woman by an Indian army officer in Boxwallah's the Leopard's Leap (1919). There are many accounts of inter-racial affairs and Brenda's Experiment (1896) by Harry Greenhaw examines the marriage of an English woman to a Muslim in late Victorian India.

General works range from 1794 to 1897 and look at military encounters (from both sides), language, thugee, rural life and accounts of wolves nurturing children in their dens. William Blagdon's A brief history of modern India (1805) can be usefully compared to Ramachandra Rava's Memoirs of Hyder and Tippoo (1849), and Valentine Blacker's Memoir of . the Mahratta War (1821) with the Mahratta Chronicles (1896) of Rustamjipestanji Karkaruja.


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